Wednesday, 11 May 2011

naomi's question of the day - #4

"naomi's question of the day" is a new feature of the Nishmablog featuring a question for you to ponder, extend and/or respond to through your comments.


May 11, 2011

If the first verse of the Torah pre-supposes the existence of God -- is it necessary to pursue and claim absolute faith before studying Torah?


Garnel Ironheart said...

No, it is first necessary to buy a Chumash.

Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

Mr. Garnel:

Ever heard of a library?


Nishma said...

I am beginning to see that within your sharp sarcasm are true answers to the inviolate questions -- and it takes sweat and circumstance to gain it -- only I wonder if we are supposed to walk such a winding route from a sincere plea for meaning to hope. Please, don't stop speaking -- you remind me of the prophets who cried and raged simultaneously. Thank you.


Garnel Ironheart said...

Winding routes are nice if you don't have too much fibre in your diet.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Oh, and it's Lord Garnel BTW.

Nishma said...

I just want to draw everyone's attention to a previous posting of mine of a JVO answer on Being Jewish and Belief in God.

I believe that this somewhat answers the question.


Nishma said...

I am not sure, though, if Rabbi Wolpoe's post does answer naomi's question. Her question concerns the mindset one should have when approaching the Torah text (or Torah literature) and whether belief is an absolute necessity before doing so (or perhaps even encouraging another to do so). This is not a question of Jewishness per se.

On this issue, I should add that there is always the standard of 'lo l'shmo ba l'shmo', that performance even with the wrong intent will eventually result in performance with the right intent. This would mean that it would be proper to encourage someone to learn even without the proper belief for such learning could lead to the proper belief. There is one caveat with this though (perhaps actually more than one but I am only mentioning one). There is a great diffence between when one approaches Torah as Divine and when one just approaches it as man made in how one approaches the subject. I may say it is okay for one to learn Torah even if one does not (yet) believe but I would state the parameter that to understand the subject one has to accept in the study the Divine origin.

Take care